Sammi Kane Kraft, Pitcher in 'Bad News Bears,' Dies at 20

Sammi Kane Kraft
Sammi Kane Kraft
 Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

Sammi Kane Kraft, who played the girl pitcher in the 2005 remake of the comedy Bad News Bears, died early Tuesday in a car accident in Los Angeles. She was 20.

Kraft was a passenger in an Audi that was on the westbound I-10 freeway at about 1:30 a.m. when it rear-ended a big-rig and was then struck by another car, the California Highway Patrol told the Los Angeles Times.

The 21-year-old driver of the Audi was treated for moderate injuries and arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving, the CHP said.

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Kraft was 13 when she played Amanda Whurlitzer in Bad News Bears, the remake of the 1976 Paramount comedy about a manager of a misfit Little League team. Tatum O’Neal starred as Amanda opposite Walter Matthau in the original; Billy Bob Thornton coached the kids in the remake, directed by Richard Linklater.

Kraft, who could throw a 75 mph fastball, was discovered on a diamond in Los Angeles, where her family had moved from New York so she could play baseball year-round. Bad News Bears was the only film she ever appeared in.

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